COVID-19 WRAP | SA records nearly 10,000 cases in 24 hours

02 September 2021 - 05:30
By TimesLIVE
A staff member hands a boy a face mask as students return to school after the summer break, less than a month into a coronavirus disease vaccine booster drive, at Arazim Elementary School in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 1 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Amir Cohen A staff member hands a boy a face mask as students return to school after the summer break, less than a month into a coronavirus disease vaccine booster drive, at Arazim Elementary School in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 1 2021.

September 02 2021 - 20:26

SA records 418 Covid-19 deaths and 9,203 cases in 24 hours

SA recorded another 418 Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Thursday.

This means that there have been 82,914 fatalities recorded to date.

The NICD also reported that there were 9,203 new Covid-19 cases identified in the past day, taking the total confirmed cases across SA to 2,796,405.

September 02 2021 - 19:36

Dr Nicholas Crisp named as acting health director-general

Dr Nicholas Crisp has been appointed acting director-general of the national health department.

Crisp confirmed that he would be taking over “for a minimum of 10 days”, and that he had been informed of the decision at 7am on Thursday and spent the day signing documents.

This comes as Dr Sandile Buthelezi requested leave, reportedly after being asked to answer questions relating to the Digital Vibes scandal.

September 02 2021 - 19:31

KZN health MEC apologises for 'less than exemplary' conduct over birthday party that breached Covid-19 rules

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has officially apologised after a birthday party thrown for her breached lockdown laws.

KZN premier Sihle Zikalala had ordered Simelane to say sorry after TimesLIVE published a video and photos of the MEC partying up a storm with friends on her birthday, where there was no social distancing or wearing of masks.  

Zikalala said Simelane would be fined 50% of her salary.

September 02 2021 - 16:50

How the R350 special relief grant is restoring a sense of dignity in SA

The R350 special relief grant is restoring a sense of dignity for Maphefo Lekgetho.

“I no longer have to bother neighbours, asking for basic things like sugar and tea,” said the 48-year-old unemployed mother of two, who lives in Braamfischerville, Soweto.

“These are the basics that every household should have, but that has not been the case for me,” she said on Thursday afternoon outside the Roodepoort Post Office, west of Johannesburg.

September 02 2021 - 14:47

Growing pressure on UK to ease travel restrictions for SA

Nearly 30,000 people have signed a petition lobbying for the UK government to remove SA from its red list traffic light travel system aimed at curbing Covid-19 infections.

Tourism authorities in SA say the stringent restrictions have severely affected the industry.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, it is estimated that being on the UK's red list since May has cost SA's economy more than R2.4bn.

September 02 2021 - 14:26

J&J vaccine shipments from SA to Europe halted, AU says

An arrangement whereby Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was shipping Covid-19 vaccine doses to Europe that had been packaged in SA has been suspended, AU envoy Strive Masiyiwa said on Thursday.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last month he was “stunned” by the arrangement, since Europe has very high vaccination rates while even the most vulnerable people in many African countries had not been vaccinated. At the time the European Commission described it as a temporary agreement, while J&J had no comment when contacted by Reuters.

The shots packaged by J&J's SA partner Aspen that were already sent to Europe would be returned, Masiyiwa told a news briefing organised by the AU's disease control body on Thursday.

September 02 2021 - 14:21

Premier Alan Winde cycles in to open drive-through vaccination site at Athlone Stadium

Western Cape premier Alan Winde appeared in his cycling gear on Thursday to open the drive-through vaccination site at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

Arriving on his bike with other cyclists, Winde said: “We are encouraged by the amazing comments we get from citizens who have been through our vaccine sites.

“It is easy for a politician to come up with an idea, but I want to thank the people who have actually made this happen. We owe it to the people who have lost their jobs, and to the exhausted front-line health workers, to get everyone vaccinated.”

September 02 2021 - 14:18

Here's why David Mabuza is visiting the West Rand to help with the Covid-19 vaccination drive

Deputy President David Mabuza is inspecting the vaccination rollout in Mogale City, Gauteng, on Thursday.

This after the interministerial committee on Covid-19 vaccines identified Gauteng as one of the three provinces that are falling short of their set targets to reach population immunity against the virus.

Mabuza and Gauteng premier David Makhura visited the West Rand district municipality, which was identified as the lowest-performing subdistrict, with only 8% of the total population vaccinated.

September 02 2021 - 14:11

Family meeting not yet on the cards as cabinet extends state of disaster

Acting minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele says the cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster due to Covid-19.

The extension to be gazetted is now until October 15.

Gungubele said the move was in line with section 27 of the Disaster Management Act.

September 02 2021 - 13:59

Tito Mboweni opens up about feeling helpless against Covid-19: 'It's real, get vaccinated'

Former finance minister Tito Mboweni is urging South Africans to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures to avert the spread of the virus.

Speaking to TimesLIVE on Thursday, Mboweni shared that in his personal capacity, he feels helpless against the virus.

“So many people I know have experienced the virus and some have died. Close to home, in our family, we have had three deaths from Covid-19 and two of my very close family members are now are struggling with it. It's not a faraway thing, it's close to home. It's real. It's not theoretical,” he said.

September 02 2021 - 08:50

New stats show protective power of Covid-19 jabs, say UK scientists

Vaccinated people who contract Covid-19 have significantly lower odds of severe disease or hospitalisation than unvaccinated people.

This is one of the key findings of a large-scale study in the UK investigating so-called breakthrough infections published on Wednesday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

Researchers also found that the odds of experiencing long Covid-19 - defined as illness lasting 28 days or more after a positive test - were halved for people who received two vaccine doses.

September 02 2021 - 08:20

Rental market showing signs of life after Covid-19 slowdown

When Covid-19 hit, the rental market took a battering, with many tenants seeking refuge with families and friends as income dwindled in protracted lockdowns.

But the market is showing signs of recovery, and by the second quarter of 2021 more than 80% of residential tenants were in good standing - compared to only 73.5% in the second quarter of 2020, according the latest TPN residential rental monitor.

With the unemployment rate reaching a record high in the second quarter of this year, according to the report, affordability remains under pressure for many tenants and above-inflation increases by municipalities hasn’t made this any easier.

September 02 2021 - 08:15

Sassa lost R11m after thousands improperly benefited from the R350 grant

The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) lost about R11m after 31,955 people improperly benefited from the Covid-19 social relief of distress (SRD) grant, the agency told the parliamentary select committee on health and social services.

Sassa executive for grants administration Dianne Dunkerley told the committee that the agency investigated all beneficiaries after it emerged from a March report by the auditor-general that 67,000 people may have benefited from the grant even though they were not entitled to it, while some were overpaid.

Dunkerley told the committee the agency stopped these payments to prevent any further loss of money.

September 02 2021 - 07:55

Is it safe to get the vaccine if you are allergic to eggs?

The Covid-19 vaccine is safe for most people, including those who are allergic to foods such as eggs.

According to the national health department, the vaccine does not contain egg proteins and is therefore safe to get.

However, those who have such allergies may be asked to stay at the vaccination centre a little longer for observation.

September 02 2021 - 07:53

Teacher abandons strict observance of Covid-19 protocols to resuscitate pupil

Social distancing and sanitising are probably the most popular words since the arrival of Covid-19. But for a Western Cape physical education teacher, Daniella Williams, adhering to Covid-19 protocols had to momentarily take a back seat after one of her pupils at Hoërskool Grabouw High School collapsed.

“There were two choices to make. It was either keeping Covid-19 protocols or save a life, and I couldn’t let a little girl die in my hands. As I held her in my hands, running from the field to the office, I could feel her breathing getting very shallow and her eyelids had started turning whitish. I thought maybe she had a heart attack,” she said.

“I asked myself 'do I risk possibly getting Covid-19 or bring this little girl back to life?' That’s when I decided to pull down my mask and I started blowing air really hard into her nostrils. When I saw her trying to open her eyes after I did this a few times I kept on blowing to resuscitate her until she started whispering to me. She told me that she couldn’t open her eyes, and that she had asthma.”

September 02 2021 - 05:30

'Some Covid-19 variants spread faster, including Delta': WHO